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Real Estate Red Flags

You’re finally ready to buy a home. You’ve saved up, been pre-approved for a mortgage, and are on the hunt. You finally find the perfect house and you then negotiate. You can’t believe it, the house is yours! After all of the time and money spent, it’s finally yours. But wait. As the first few months go by, you start to notice issue after issue pop up and squeeze your wallet harder than it can handle. First, it was the mold underneath the flooring, then it was the water damage in the roof. How did you not see the red flags before you made an offer?

Sounds like a nightmare, right? It’s ok, it wasn’t real and we’re going to help you spot those red flags so that you don’t fall into this trap in real life. Here are some red flags to look for when you’re house hunting.


Literally, For Sale signs could be a red flag. Not just on the house you’re interested in, are there a strange amount in an area? This could be indicative of a problem within the neighborhood. Do some research about the crime statistics and the schools in the area. Problems with either of those could be the reason why so many people are eager to get out. You can also look into upcoming projects in the neighborhood. Maybe they’re turning a nearby park into an ugly office building or maybe they’re planning an apartment project that will greatly increase traffic in the neighborhood. A For Sale sign here and there is probably fine, but if you notice a lot of them, there might be an issue that you can’t see right away.

New Paint

Sure, a lot of people repaint rooms or even the entire exterior of their house when they sell. It helps to increase the value and the allure of the home. But if you notice weird spots on a single wall or on the ceiling that seems to be freshly painted, it may be a red flag. Ask the seller about it to see how they react. Mildew or water damage could be hidden underneath and will need to be addressed in the future. A quick coat of paint isn’t going to fix that. It can, however, cover up the eyesore and stink of cigarette smoke residue. After a period of time, the smell will return if it isn’t cleaned properly.

Scent Overload

Again, every seller wants their home to smell nice. It’s why we recommend baking goods on the day of your open house. It makes people feel comfortable. But if you’re seeing candles and air fresheners everywhere you look, it could be a red flag. These scents could be an attempt to mask an otherwise dirty smell. Mold could be hidden behind walls and under flooring, and mold is both costly to fix and dangerous to residents. We advise you to hire an inspector who knows how to spot signs of mold.

If you notice any of these red flags while you tour a home, you don’t necessarily have to turn and run. But you definitely should dig deeper to be sure that there aren’t any costly issues that you will have to deal with should you purchase the home. You should also always hire a professional inspector and a quality real estate agent to help you avoid any obstacles or surprises.

As proud members of the esteemed, small-knit Eden Prairie small business community, we are active participants in everything our area has to offer. Since 1995, we’ve been committed to earning the trust of our community. With over 4,500 homes sold in our region, we have the knowledge and experience you need when you are looking to list or buy a home in Eden Prairie. Give us a call today and experience for yourself how we became the #1 sales team in Eden Prairie.